A Thursday morning crash in Grady County took the life of a young boy from El Reno. The two-car crash happened on September 3, 2020, about three miles south of Minco on U.S. 81.

According to a news release by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the 12-year-old boy was a passenger in a 2013 Dodge Avenger. A 2018 Ford F-350 traveling north on U.S. 81 attempted to make a left turn onto Highway 1220. 

The Ford crossed into the path of the Dodge Avenger, thereby causing the crash. The listed cause of the accident is an improper turn in front of oncoming traffic. 

Everyone involved in the traffic accident was wearing a seat belt, except for the 12-year-old boy who died. 

The 40-year-old driver of the Dodge Avenger was pinned in the vehicle. She had to be freed by the Chickasha Fire Department before being transported to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City in critical condition. A 15-year-old female in the Dodge Avenger sustained leg and arm injuries and was taken to the OU Children’s Hospital for treatment.

The 48-year-old man who was driving the Ford F-350 was from Chickasha. He was treated for injuries at Grady County Memorial and released. 

The Dangers of Side-Impact Accidents

A side-impact car accident can be very dangerous for the passenger of the car hit in the side. Also known as T-bone accidents, side-impact crashes often occur when a driver fails to yield the right of way and turns left in front of another driver.

The passengers sitting on the side of the impact are often the persons who receive the most severe injuries in the accident. There is very little protecting the person from the collision. 

The metal frame of a door is thin compared to the front or rear of a car. The impact of the collision often pushes the door into the interior of the vehicle. The person sitting beside the door can sustain severe injuries including:

Some newer model vehicles may have side impact airbags that can help protect the passenger, but the speed of the vehicle and the point of impact may defeat the protection offered by a side airbag.

In many cases, the passenger sustains life-threatening injuries or injuries that result in permanent disabilities. In a matter of seconds, a person’s life can change forever because of a side-impact crash.

Why Do T-Bone Accidents Happen?

There are many causes for T-bone or side impact crashes. Some of the most common causes of crashes are related to human error or negligence. Common causes of side-impact crashes include:

  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Misjudging distance and speed
  • Running red lights and stop signs
  • Distracted driving
  • Fatigued and drowsy driving
  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • Speeding and reckless driving
  • Improper backing 
  • Pulling out into traffic from side roads, driveways, and parking lots

The person who causes the side impact accident is responsible for the damages caused by the accident. The person may be held financially liable in a personal injury lawsuit. 

Proving Liability for a Side Impact Car Accident

Proving liability may be challenging. You must prove that the driver caused the accident before you can receive any money for an accident claim.

It is easy to determine liability in some T-bone accidents. For example, a person turning left at an intersection when oncoming traffic has the right of way is at fault for the crash. However, the parties may dispute who had the right of way.

The driver turning left may argue that he had a green arrow that would give him the right of way. In that case, video evidence and eyewitness testimony could be crucial in proving who had the right of way. 

Another example of disputed side-impact crashes includes crashes at four-way-stops. In many cases, both drivers claim to have the right of way. If there is not an eyewitness to back up one of the drivers’ stories, proving liability for the crash could be more difficult.

If you are involved in a side-impact car accident, do not admit fault. It would be best if you talked with a car accident attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can investigate the cause of the crash to determine which driver was at fault.

If the other driver were at fault, an attorney could help you file an insurance claim and file a personal injury lawsuit if necessary. You may be entitled to substantial compensation for your injuries, financial losses, and other damages.